Canelons De Albergines (Eggplant Cannelloni)

Dairy Free · Gluten Free · Vegetarian · Can be made Vegan Friendly

29 Jan · Written by Raquel Jones


The eggplant's origin sparks debate, with some attributing it to India, although a 5th-century Chinese agricultural record tells a different story. However, it found its way to Spain during the 8th century, brought by the Moors during their invasion, where it thrived. Its popularity was such that it became the muse for poetry and songs, like the "cántiga de las berenjenas," or the "song of the eggplants." This lyrical piece detailed a staggering 35 ways to prepare this humble vegetable. Sung and passed down through generations, this ode to eggplants also found its place in manuscripts dating back to the 18th century.

Eggplants, like potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, possess a hint of bitterness due to the presence of nicotinoid alkaloids, which essentially means they contain traces of nicotine.

However, it's worth noting that you'd need to consume about 20 eggplants to match the nicotine dose of a single full-strength cigarette, so using eggplants as a smoking cessation aid is not recommended!

The bitterness in eggplants primarily stems from their seeds, a common trait among many fruits. To mitigate this bitterness, opt for the "male" eggplant when selecting one for your dish. If you happen to end up with a "female" eggplant and prefer to reduce its bitterness, you can remove some or all of the seeds, or even employ a salting method.

This a wonderfully moorish dish. I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Bon profit! Raquel x

Canelons De Albergines (Eggplant Cannelloni)

Serves: 4-6 people as a tapa (2 each)


  • 2 eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1cm thick slices 
  • 2 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 750g large Desiree potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 60g butter (can substitute Nuttelex for vegan)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1.5 tbsp pure cream (substitute silken tofu for vegan)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves chopped finely 
  • 80g almond flakes, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp honey (substitute maple syrup for vegan)
  • pinch of extra cinnamon, for dusting
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise, for garnish (optional)
  • Handful of pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)


  1. Place sliced eggplant in a colander over the sink and sprinkle over 2 tbsp sea salt flakes, ensuring each piece is salted. Set aside.
  2. Place potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water for 15 minutes or until tender, but not falling apart.
  3. Once cooked, drain potatoes and mash with a fork or potato masher inside a large bowl.
  4. Whilst the potato is still warm, add half the butter, 1 tbsp EVOO, cream, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, chopped thyme leaves, almond flakes and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Leave the potato mixture to cool for 15 mins, then refrigerate for 20 mins.
  6. Heat oven to 180°C.
  7. Add 2 tsp EVOO to a large heavy-based pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the eggplant slices, drizzling 2 tsp EVOO each time, for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
  8. Once cool touch, place the eggplant slices on a board and spoon a heaped tbsp of the potato mixture onto each slice. Mould mixture into a thick line horizontally across each slice. Roll up the slices and place each canelon, seam side down onto a lined baking tray.
  9. Melt the remaining butter and baste the tops of the cannelloni. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until potato mixture inside is warmed through.
  10. Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with honey and sprinkle over a pinch of cinnamon.
  11. Garnish with a tiny dollop of mayonnaise on each and a handful of rocket or scatter over a handful of pomegranate seeds for a pop of colour.


The dish can be made ahead of time and refrigerated after step 8, prior to basting and baking. Remember to add an extra 5-10 mins oven time if you are cooking canelons from a cold fridge.


Serve alongside our Tempranillo J.

Our Pinot Gris and Whole Bunch Rosé also pair wonderfully well with this exotic dish.